Brits fi­nal­ize Egypt loan guar­an­tee

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

LON­DON — Bri­tain on Satur­day fi­nal­ized a $150 mil­lion loan guar­an­tee to Egypt, where Boris John­son was on his first visit to the coun­try as for­eign sec­re­tary and as a hu­man-rights or­ga­ni­za­tion urged him to speak about what they de­scribed as “ap­palling” abuses.

In a state­ment, the for­eign of­fice said John­son and Pres­i­dent Ab­del-Fat­tah el-Sissi dis­cussed Bri­tish sup­port for Egypt’s econ­omy in­clud­ing joint work on avi­a­tion se­cu­rity, anti-ter­ror­ism ef­forts, and work to re­solve re­gional con­flicts es­pe­cially in Libya and Syria, adding that hu­man rights and the ben­e­fits of a free so­ci­ety to pro­mote sta­bil­ity and eco­nomic growth were men­tioned.

Ear­lier, the hu­man-rights or­ga­ni­za­tion Re­prieve urged John­son to speak about the abuses it de­scribed, in­clud­ing the case of Ir­ish na­tional Ibrahim Halawa, who was 17 when ar­rested and im­pris­oned in Cairo in 2013. Halawa was de­tained in a mosque near Ram­ses Square as the Mus­lim Brother­hood held a “day of rage” over el-Sissi’s ouster of his pre­de­ces­sor, the Is­lamist Mo­hamed Morsi.

Re­prieve’s Har­riet McCul­loch had im­plored John­son to “urge el-Sissi to end these ap­palling abuses, and free Ibrahim and the many like him.”

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